What day are you living in? Sounds like a crazy question, doesn’t it.
Where is your mind? What is occupying your thought life?
As the early morning birds were trilling their praises, I took a moment to pause, to really listen to the day, to listen for the sweet quiet whisper of my heavenly Father. I’d been reading a passage that said:
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
which got me to thinking.
What does it mean to fix my thoughts on my heavenly Father? Where does that place me? The obvious answer is the present. Today. Right now. Here.
Easy to give assent to; easy to say. I mean, it should be obvious that we are living today.
- How many times do I rehash a mistake from yesterday?
- How many times do I replay a conversation and wish I’d said something different?
- How many times do I wish I could go back and relive that day when I felt on top of the world?
- How many times do I desire to have one more conversation with that person who is no longer with me?
Yesterday is gone. And with it all the mistakes, blessings, good choices, bad ones. You can’t go back and fix anything. You can learn from yesterday so you don’t repeat those mistakes. But, you can never have the same experiences because you are not the same person. Yesterday shaped you. It doesn’t define you.
Whenever I spend a moment of time thinking longingly about yesterday, I’m not present today. I’m not fixing my mind on my heavenly Father.
Maybe you don’t do that. But I do. More often than I’d like to admit.
How about this?
- Knowing you need to have a difficult conversation, you run through all the possible ways this conversation will go in your head.
- You are introduced to someone, yet before you even have a chance to talk with them, you’ve already played every rejection scenario in your head.
- You’re struggling financially and you run all the possible scenarios convinced disaster is coming in the next day or two.
- You ask yourself more than once today, “What if [this] happens?” which raises your anxiety level.
Tomorrow isn’t here. And it may never come. You can plan, prepare, learn, study, capture your thoughts, adjust your attitudes today. But you can’t control tomorrow. You can impact it by what you do today. But spending time anxiously anticipating what may or may not come is futile.
You end up wasting today.
As Max Lucado says, “Live for today. Don’t sacrifice it on the altar of anxiety. God sends help at the hour we need it.” Not before. How often I wish he would, but he doesn’t. It’s always exactly when I need it.
As parents, we have the option to teach our children how to live today or how to live with anxiety about the past or the future. In order to do that, however, we have to practice living for today. Our actions teach more than our words.
So, I’m going through a time check. I want to fix my thoughts on my heavenly Father. I want to grab hold of today. It’s all I have.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
What day are you living in? If it’s not today, what is one thing you can do to be present today?
Capture the extraordinary in the ordinary—today.